Inspired by naamah_darling’s recipe for Ginger Sluts, here’s my entry for the Best Cookie in the Universe competition (many, many thanks to Kightp for the pointer!). This spicy cookie features some very adult flavors, and holds up as well with a glass of merlot as it does cold milk. (Heh, I was joking with DH that a placement of a bit of ginger might make the name Nips a little more graphically (in)appropriate, and he shot back: “Would that make you a pastie chef?”)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/3 – 1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped (I used Trader Joe’s uncrystallized)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 good grinds of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
In a bowl of a standing mixer, mix butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg, molassas and chopped candied ginger, mix together. Sift in the flour, soda, cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, peppers and salt. Mix just until incorporated, and chill for at least one hour.
Place oven rack in the center of the oven and set to 360 degrees F. I used a #70 disher (the ice-cream scoop thingie), which made balls just under a tablespoon (or just scoop up a scant tablespoon and roll into a large marble). Roll one side of the ball in the turbinado sugar and place sugar-side up on a cookie sheet covered with either a Silpat or parchment paper. Cookies spread to about 2″, so don’t crowd them.
Bake for 10 minutes, one sheet at a time. Cookies will puff up and then deflate when you take them out. They don’t really brown; don’t overbake. Let rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before using a metal spatula to transfer to a cooling rack. Try not to hork down the whole batch instantly (good luck with that).
Makes about four dozen 2″ cookies.